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Electing a parliament: an experimental study

Author

Listed:
  • Francesco De Sinopoli

    (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

  • Giovanna Iannantuoni

    (University of Milano-Bicocca)

  • Maria Vittoria Levati

    (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

  • Ivan Soraperra

    (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

Abstract

We use laboratory experiments to explore what electoral outcomes emerge and how voters behave in a setting in which the electorate must determine the number of seats that two parties obtain in the parliament. Previous experimental work has mainly focused on winner-take-all elections and voting over fixed agendas, and has not studied elections where participants decide on the composition of a parliament. We consider two electoral systems, multidistrict majoritarian and single district proportional. Relying on De Sinopoli et al.'s (2013) model of a parliamentary election, we obtain a unique perfect equilibrium outcome under both systems and exploit this uniqueness to gauge, and compare, the predictive value of the equilibrium concept in the two systems. The experimental results are broadly supportive of the theory and reveal that electoral outcomes and individual votes are more often in line with the equilibrium in the proportional than in the majoritarian system.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco De Sinopoli & Giovanna Iannantuoni & Maria Vittoria Levati & Ivan Soraperra, 2016. "Electing a parliament: an experimental study," Working Papers 11/2016, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:11/2016
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Voting; Majority election; Proportional election; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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